100 Best Suspense movies Of All Time in New Zealand

Best-Suspense-Movies in New Zealand

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Every movie lover likes a good thriller or suspense movie on a slow night. A suspense movie may have a sub-genre like horror, thriller, or science fiction, but in the end, every such film is designed to generate apprehension in the audience.

When done right, the best suspense movies will keep you on the edge of your seat while satisfying you with a well-executed plot.

This article will give you a list of the 100 best movies suspense movies of all time in New Zealand. So grab your popcorn and tuck in for a night in front of your screen! This blog contains suspense movies on Netflix, and the same you can watch them on Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO Max in New Zealand.

Rear Window (1954)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: John Michael Hayes, Cornell Woolrich
Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 1h 52m

The movie follows the story of a photographer who has recently started using a wheelchair after suffering an accident.

Jeff starts spending his time looking out of the rear window of his house and, before long, finds himself spying on his neighbors.

He is convinced one of the neighbors has committed a murder, and he starts investigating with the help of his girlfriend and the visiting nurse. This is one of the best movies on Amazon Prime.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Director: Jonathan Demme
Writer: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally
Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Kasi Lemmons, Lawrence T. Wrentz
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Run Time: 1h 58m

Critics describe this movie as one of the most influential psychological horror films.

It was 1990 when Clarice Sterling was assigned to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist incarcerated for various instances of cannibalism and murder.

Now, Clarice must gain the confidence of Dr. Lecter to get his help in solving another case wherein his insight might be monumental. Without his help, they may never catch the killer.

Parasite (2019)


Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong, Choi Woo-Shik
Genre: Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 2h 12m

The Kim family has been struggling to make ends meet and only has a temporary job of folding pizza boxes. A friend of the Kim family’s daughter advises her to take the position of an English tutor for the Park family, who were affluent and wealthy.

Slowly, the entire Kim family schemes and poses as unrelated individuals to get specific jobs at the Park family house. The story turns when they discover a squatter in the Park home, and things go south from there. The best Mystery movie on Netflix.

Psycho (1960)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Joseph Stefano, Robert Bloch
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Genre: Horror, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

Marion Crane was a real estate secretary who stole considerable money from her employer. Marion intended to pay off her boyfriend’s debts so that they could marry.

However, on the way, Marion meets Norman, who brutally murders her and takes her money. Her disappearance, along with the cash, launches an investigation, inevitably uncovering some of Norman’s bone-chilling secrets.

The investigator must uncover the mystery of Marion’s death and Norman’s past.

North By Northwest (1959)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Ernest Lehman
Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Genre: Action, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Run Time: 2h 16m

Roger Thornhill is a New York City advertising executive who gets mistaken for a government agent. He is abducted and interrogated by a group of foreign spies but manages to escape.

However, he cannot convince the authorities of what happened to him and is in turmoil. Further, he meets a woman and develops feelings but soon doubts her loyalty.

The Shining (1980)


Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 2h 26m

Jack Torrance and his family head to an isolated hotel in the Rocky Mountains to take up the winter caretaker position.

Since they were the only people, bizarre occurrences started occurring around them. Both Jack and his son start having individual episodes of delusions and display concerning behavior.

Wendy, Jack’s wife, attempts to manage his delirious nature, which slowly becomes more and more deranged.

The Third Man (1949)


Director: Carol Reed
Writer: Graham Greene, Orson Welles, Alexander Korda
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 1h 33m

Shortly after the end of the second world war, the story follows Harry Martins arriving in Vienna to reconcile with his childhood friend.

However, upon arriving in Vienna, he is informed that the friend was recently killed in a car accident.

However, at the funeral, Martins is convinced that his death had been far more sinister than a typical accident and sets out to investigate the true nature of his death.

Face/Off (1997)


Director: John Woo
Writer: Mike Werb, Michael Colleary
Cast: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joann Allen
Genre: Action, Crime
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 18m

Sean Archer is a special FBI agent whose son was murdered by a homicidal sociopath named Castor Troy.

Years later, he ambushes Troy, who goads him by telling him about a bomb planted in Los Angeles.

However, before Archer can extract any other information from him, Troy falls into a coma. Archer undergoes plastic surgery and assumes the identity of Troy to try and foil the bombing.

Before I Go To Sleep (2014)


Director: Rowan Joffe
Writer: Rowan Joffe, S.J. Watson
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Run Time: 1h 32m

Having suffered a traumatic accident in the past, Christine has no memories of her life after her early twenties.

She wakes up next to a man who claims to be her husband, Ben and tells her that she has lost her memories due to a car accident recently. However, as Christine gets snippets of her memories back, she realizes that Ben might not be telling her the complete truth.

She is reconciled with her former best friend Claire, whose version of events doesn’t fit with what Ben has told her. As she starts getting flashbacks of herself before the accident, her life turns unexpected.

Vertigo (1958)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Alec Coppel, Samuel A. Taylor, Pierre Boileau
Cast: Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, James Stewart
Genre: Mystery, Romance
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Run Time: 2h 8m

John Ferguson is a detective who has developed a fear of heights and vertigo and decides to retire.

However, as a favor to his friend Gavin Elster, he agrees to tail his wife, Madeleine. Madeleine was suspected not to be mentally stable and was acting bizarrely.

However, John becomes enamored by Madeleine while following her around and attempting to solve her behavior’s mystery.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)


Director: Charles Laughton
Writer: Davis Grubb, James Agee, Charles Laughton
Cast: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 32m

A self-proclaimed preacher and serial killer- Harry Powell, married women and then murdered them for their money. His latest victim is Willa, whose husband he had met in prison sometime before.

He woos Willa and wins the whole town’s trust but cannot beat the faith of Willa’s children, who are the only ones who know where their father had hidden the cash.

The 39 Steps (1935)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: John Buchan, Charles Bennett, Ian Hay
Cast: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Genre: Crime, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 26m

Richard Hannay helps a secret agent- Annabelle Smith, escape her assassins and gives her shelter in his home.

However, when the assassins inevitably catch up with them and murder Smith, Richard becomes the prime suspect.

He is forced to go on a run not just to thwart the police but also Smith’s assassins. He makes unusual acquaintances on the way who help him escape his assailants.

Touch of Evil (1958)


Director: Orson Welles
Writer: Orson Welles, Whit Masterson, Franklin Cohen
Cast: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 35m

The movie follows a chilling tale of murder, kidnapping, and corruption in a town on the Mexican border.

A time bomb placed in a vehicle kills Rudy Linnekar and his girlfriend, and the local authorities start investigating the scene.

A Mexican Special Prosecutor from the US, who was on a honeymoon with his wife, takes a particular interest in the case. Before he knows it, he is sucked into this small town’s complex web of crime.

Double Indemnity (1944)


Director: Billy Wilder
Writer: Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain
Cast: Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

The movie opens with Walter Neff, an insurance salesman, recording his confession on a dictaphone.

Neff is visibly injured with a gunshot wound. The rest of the movie plays out as a flashback wherein Neff lets a glamorous housewife seduce him and pull him into a scheme of insurance fraud due to a loophole clause and the murder of her wealthy husband.

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)


Director: Otto Preminger
Writer: Wendell Mayes, John D. Voelker
Cast: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 2h 41m

A small-town Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler is contacted to defend Frederick Manion, an ex-army Lieutenant. Frederick is being convicted for the murder of an innkeeper.

He claims that he killed the innkeeper in a rage after discovering how he had raped his wife. Paul takes it upon himself to uncover the mystery and discover the truth about his client.

Jaws (1975)


Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb
Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary
Genre: Adventure, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 4m

The best Adventure movie of all time. A killer shark is terrorizing the visitors of a beach in New England, and swimmers start to disappear frequently.

It gets to the point that even sailing vessels are no longer safe from vicious predators.

A local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old sailor take it upon themselves to save the beach from the shark, which proves to be much more complex and lethal than they’d thought.

The French Connection (1971)


Director: William Friedkin
Writer: Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore
Cast: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Genre: Action, Crime
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 44m

Jimmy Doyle and Buddy Russo accidentally stumble upon some mobsters and discover the plan to smuggle vast quantities of heroin into the United States.

They get to know that this shipment is a part of the biggest heroin-smuggling syndicate in the world.

The two detectives enter the world of drug dealers and crime syndicates to thwart the load and dismantle the web in America.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)


Director: John Huston
Writer: John Huston, Dashiell Hammett
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
Genre: Crime, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 40m

Two private investigators- Sam Spade and Miles Archer, meet Ruth Wonderly, who has been looking for her missing sister and wants to hire them for the task.

Spade finds himself in a tight spot when his partner Archer is murdered that night, and he can find no trace of Ruth either.

The police start an investigation into the case, and Spade must uncover the truth to avoid being wrongly accused.

The Lady Vanishes (1938)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Ethel Lina White, Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat
Cast: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 36m

While traveling from the fictional European country of Bandrika via train, Iris Henderson befriends an elderly lady- Miss Froy.

After spending some time with her, and Miss Froy tending to an injury Iris got on a station, Iris realizes that Miss Froy has disappeared.

However, the passengers on the train refuse to have seen anyone like Miss Froy in the parade, making Iris undertake a personal investigation of the situation.

Strangers on a Train (1951)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde, Whitfield Cook
Cast: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

A wealthy psychopath, Bruno Antony, meets an amateur tennis star, Guy Haines, on a train. While talking, he realizes that Guy wants to get rid of his current wife and proposes the idea of swapping murders.

He claims that two strangers can get away with murders if they work together and, over the next few days, attempts to pressure Guy into going through with his idea.

When Guy refuses, he starts blackmailing him into going through with their agreement.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville
Cast: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Genre: Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 48m

Charlotte Newton is thrilled at the prospect of her uncle Charles Oakley arriving for a visit. However, soon she begins to suspect that he might be one of the serial killers the police are looking for.

Upon discovering that Charlie might know the real reason for his visit and could help the detectives, Charles tries everything to make her keep his secret.

The Machinist (2004)


Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Scott Kosar
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christian Bale, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Genre: Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

This thriller follows the story of the insomniac industrial worker- Trevor Reznik, who has not slept in a year.

Trevor appears exceptionally emaciated, and his behavior results in social isolation.

Soon, he starts talking about Ivan, but everyone in his life claims they have never known someone like that, causing Trevor to begin his investigation.

The Lighthouse (2019)


Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeriia Karaman
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

Set in England in the 1800s, this film is counted among the best suspense movies of all time. The plot revolves around two lighthouse keepers who work on a small isolated island off the coast.

Thomas Wake is the supervisor and long-term keeper of the island and has been on the island for far too long. However, Ephraim Winslow is on a month-long contract only and finds that Wake is a very demanding supervisor.

Winslow also discovers that the island has some bizarre supernatural phenomena he can barely comprehend. As a storm hits the island, both men start to unearth secrets about the other.

Disturbia (2007)


Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: Christopher Landon, Carl Ellsworth
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 45m

Kale Brecht is a teenager sentenced to three months of house arrest for assaulting his teacher at school.

While at home, he starts observing his neighbors kill his boredom. He soon starts suspecting that one of his neighbors is a serial killer due to multiple dubious instances.

With the help of his best friend and love interest, Kale starts investigating the neighbor.

Shallow Grave (1994)


Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: John Hodge
Cast: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor
Genre: Crime, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 29m

Three flatmates in London- David Stephens, Juliet Miller, and Alex Law, start looking for a new flatmate.

They decide to accept Hugo, who ends up dead in his room soon after moving in. Hugo also leaves behind a massive suitcase of money, which the trio decides to keep as they dispose of the body.

Unknown to them, being affiliated with Hugo has put them on the radar of many dangerous people.

Memento (2000)


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 1h 53m

The movie plays in flashbacks for most of the part. It follows the story of Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator with retrograde amnesia. After the recent murder of his wife, Leonard takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of her death.

He vows to get her justice and investigates the case despite his psychological condition.

Gone Girl (2014)


Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 29m

Professor Nick Dunne lives in North Carthage with his wife, Amy. One day, his wife disappears without any trace, and he returns to a cluttered house indicative of struggle. As the police get involved, Nick becomes the prime suspect in the supposed murder of Amy.

With no one on his side, it falls on him to solve the mystery of his wife’s disappearance and clear his name.

As the court hears her case, her psychiatrist starts to discover things that Emily had been hiding from him.

Get Out (2017)


Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
Genre: Horror, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 44m

You can watch this movie on US Amazon Prime in New Zealand. The story revolves around a black photographer from Brooklyn, Chris Washington, who visits his white girlfriend’s family.

Upon arrival, he finds their reception of him rather bizarre and concerning. He asks his girlfriend if they could leave, but she assures him that nothing is wrong and they should stay to be polite.

However, the events take a fatal turn for Chris as he discovers the true nature of this family.

Seven (1995)

Director: David Fincher
Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Run Time: 2h 7m

Detectives William Somerset and David Mills are partners and are called to investigate a grotesque set of murders.

The murders seem to follow the pattern of the seven deadly sins as mentioned in the Bible.

With three victims already under the way, Mills and Somerset must act fast to keep the killer from murdering four more people. Subscribe to the best Netflix VPN to watch this film on Netflix.

Side Effects (2013)


Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

Counted amongst the best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand with a highly appreciable plot, the film follows Emily Taylor, a New York City Socialite, who has had multiple attempts of murder. She is on a new experimental drug to help her overcome her depressive episodes.

However, the drug has a significant side effect due to which Emily starts sleep-walking and murders her husband in her sleep one day.

The Sixth Sense (1999)


Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

A little boy, Cole Sear, is a socially isolated boy who is often physically bullied. Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist, attempts to treat Cole and help him heal.

When Cole admits to Malcolm that he can see and hear ghosts of dead people, Malcolm almost gives up on his case, thinking the boy is just delusional.

However, he is later convinced that Cole is telling the truth. Malcolm helps the boy navigate his powers and encourages him to use them for good.

The Guest (2014)


Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelley, Maika Monroe
Genre: Action, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 40m

David Collins introduces himself to the Peterson family as the best friend of Caleb, their son who died in action in Afghanistan.

The Petersons welcome him into the family. However, soon after David comes into the house, they start to experience a lot of murders and deaths around them.

Upon investigation, it is revealed that David Collins had also died in action, and the special forces are alerted.

Death on the Nile (2022)


Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Michael Greene, Agatha Christie
Cast: Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Run Time: 2h 7m

During World War I, the story follows the murder of a young heiress, Linnet Ridgeway. The heiress was in Egypt for her wedding when she was fatally shot in the head in her bed.

Before her death, Linnet had asked Hercule Poirot, the famous detective, for protection from an obsessive acquaintance, Jackie.

Now Poirot must uncover the mystery of her death in the foreign land.

The Conversation (1974)


Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 53m

After overhearing a conversation followed by three gruesome murders, surveillance expert Harry Caul is racked with guilt.

He maintained that he was not responsible for the actual content of records his clients demanded, which made him reconsider his stance.

Deciding to not hand over the recording to the client, Harry finds himself in a precarious situation.

Orphan (2009)


Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Alex Mace
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
Genre: Horror, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 2h 3m

Kate and John Coleman are a couple who recently lost their daughter and decided to adopt a girl from their local orphanage. However, Esther is not as innocent as it seems and exhibits concerning behavior patterns.

Prone to hurting other living beings and bullying kids, they grow concerned for her. Later, Esther even attempts to kill Kate and John’s older son and reveals her true nature.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)


Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Genre: Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 56m

This psychological thriller follows the story of Susan Morrow, an art gallery owner married to an unfaithful business owner- Hutton Morrow.

One day, Susan receives a manuscript of an unpublished novel from her ex-husband Edward Sheffield.

The story is alarming and is also dedicated to Susan, who interprets it to contain some sort of symbolism in their relationship.

Blue Velvet (1986)

Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h

Jefferey Beaumont finds a severed ear in a field one night and takes it to the police.

Sandy, the daughter of a police detective, tells him that this might be related to Dorothy Vallens.

When Jefferey goes to Dorothy’s house to investigate the severed ear, he witnesses Dorothy being abused and assaulted and is inevitably sucked into the world of gangsters and drug lords.

From Russia With Love (1963)


Director: Terence Young
Writer: Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, Ian Fleming
Cast: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya
Genre: Action, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 55m

The second movie in the James Bond Series is often regarded as one of the best suspense movies. The movie begins with SPECTRE, the international crime organization, training special agents to kill James Bond.

They hope to avenge the death of one of their agents at the hands of Bond in Jamaica. Bond, in turn, pretends to fall for their trap so that he can retrieve a Soviet encryption device that the SPECTRE had stolen.

The famous agent races against time, dangerous agents, and treacherous traps to complete his mission.


Stranger by the Lake (2013)


Director: Alan Guiraudie
Writer: Alan Guiraudie
Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d’Assumçao
Genre: Romance, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 40m

Frank frequents a beach near the woods, a famous spot for gay men to hang out. There he befriends Henri and Michel and is attracted to the latter.

However, Michel shows many violent tendencies and even drowns a man one day. Even though Frank witnessed the murder, he lies to the police and saves Michel.

However, more such instances occur, and Frank gets scared for his own life.

Knives Out (2019)



Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 2h 10m

Harlan Thrombey, a wealthy novelist, is found dead the morning after his 85th birthday party.

While the police write it off as suicide, a private investigator Blanc Benoit is hired to get to the bottom of it.

He realizes that Harlan’s family members had strained relationships with him in various aspects, and suddenly everyone is a suspect.

Widows (2018)


Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Gillian Flynn, Lynda La Plante, Steve McQueen
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

After Harry Rawling and his gang is killed in a police standoff, their boss contacts Harry’s widow- Veronica and demands the money Harry owed him.

Veronica gets in contact with Alice and Linda, two other widows whose husbands worked with Harry, and together they plan to pull off a money heist to pay off their debts to the crime boss. If you are interested in watching crime thriller movies, then you must check out these best heist movies.

Donnie Darko (2001)


Director: Richard Kelly
Writer: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhall, Jena Malone, Holmes Osborne, Mary McDonnell
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 53m

This thriller sci-fi movie follows the story of a troubled teenager who suffers from sleepwalking and gets visions of a giant bunny.

The rabbit successfully attempts to manipulate Donnie, played by Jake Gyllenhall, into committing heinous crimes. The rabbit feeds off Donnie’s fears by telling him that the world would be ending in 28 days, driving him to believe he might even be living in a parallel universe.

Frank, the rabbit, can only be seen by Donnie, who must traverse through his daily life as it continues to be plagued by his daylight hallucinations of said rabbit.

The Game (1997)


Director: David Fincher
Writer: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
Cast: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

Nicholas van Orton is a wealthy investment banker in San Francisco, and for his 48th birthday, he receives an unusual gift from his brother Conrad.

It is an entry card for a mysterious game called CRS. Suddenly, after attempting to enter the game and being rejected, Nicholas becomes convinced that the game is a ploy to destroy his reputation and career and becomes maniacal.

Notorious (1946)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Alfred Hitchcock, Ben Hecht, John Taintor Foote
Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 42m

American Agent T.R. Devlin approaches the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy. Alicia Huberman is asked to blend in, and spy on a group of Nazis connected to her father.

The group operates out of Rio de Janeiro, and Alicia accepts the offer. She develops feelings for Devli but gets too engrossed in her work and struggles to balance both things simultaneously. This is one of the best suspense and spy movies on Netflix.

Halloween (1978)


Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Donald Pleasance
Genre: Horror, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 31m

Set in 1978, Michael Myers escaped from the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to Illinois on 30th October. He had been incarcerated for the murder of his younger sister on Halloween night of 1963.

Myers plans on committing another murder on Halloween again. As he returns to the fictional town of Haddonfield, he starts terrorizing a group of teenagers he has selected as his next victims.

The Vanishing (1988)


Director: George Sluizer
Writer: Tim Crabbe, George Sluizer
Cast: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

The story starts with a young couple- Rex and Saskia, on vacation in France. Saskia is abducted when they are at a busy service station, and there is no trace of her for the next three years.

After three years, Rex starts getting correspondence from Saskia’s abductor and sets out to learn the truth about her disappearance, which turns out to be more bizarre and sinister than he thought. He must always be on his guard to prevent a similar fate as his lover.

This film is filled with action scenes, and it is one of the best action movies on Hulu.

The Usual Suspects (1995)


Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

A gruesome accident on the ship leaves two survivors, while police recovered 27 bodies other than them.

The movie then plays in a flashback, telling the tale of five convicts who had met in a police lineup in New York City six weeks earlier.

The plot thickens as they attempt to avenge NYPD for maltreating them, culminating in the unfortunate ship accident.

The Big Sleep (1946)


Director: Howard Hawks
Writer: William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Genre: 7.9/10
IMDb Rating: Crime, Mystery
Run Time: 1h 54m

Often described as “the most baffling film,” the movie’s plot is acknowledged by critics as hard to follow. This makes it one of the best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand. It follows the story of Philip Marlowe, a private detective hired by a wealthy family to investigate a seemingly low-stakes case.

He is initially asked to resolve the gambling debts that his client’s daughter owes to a bookseller. Before his assignment is over, Marlowe discovers numerous family secrets and witnesses murder, blackmail, and love.

The Thin Man (1934)


Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Writer: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Dashiell Hammett
Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Sullivan
Genre: Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 31m

Nick Charles is a retired detective who lives with his wealthy wife, Nora. They were visiting New York to spend a lavish Christmas together.

However, when an old client of Nick’s goes missing, and his daughter pleads with him to take up the case, he accepts. The ex-client was supposed to be on a business trip, about to return to New York.

However, there was no news about the man and he had mysteriously disappeared. As the investigation progresses, Nick realizes it is a murder case, not a missing person’s case, and strives to bring justice to his ex-client.

The Killing (1956)


Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Jim Thompson, Lionel White
Cast: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 24m

Johnny Clay is a crook who plans to marry his girlfriend very soon. He also intends to settle down and live a clean life after marriage, but he wants to pull one last heist before that.

He assembles a team of five people to conduct a racetrack robbery. They planned to steal $2 million from the money-counting room. The intention was to grievously injure one of the best horses and cause a diversion. However, things go wrong one after the other, and the carefully put-together plan falls apart, leaving Johnny struggling to escape the authorities.

Peeping Tom (1960)


Director: Michael Powell
Writer: Leo Marks
Cast: Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

Mark Lewis is a young, aspiring filmmaker and part-time photographer. A shy and socially reclusive man, he lives alone in a flat and barely interacts with people outside his workplace.

Psychologically scarred in his childhood, Mark is shown to brutally murder young women and use a camera to film their death. He later watches these recordings, focussing on their looks of terror before dying.

The Terminator (1984)


Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

A cyborg is sent from the future to kill a young woman who is to give birth to a man who will be monumental in saving humanity in the future.

A human soldier is also dispatched from the same year, assigned to destroy the cyborg before it can reach the woman.

Guarding the woman and her unborn son is vital to the continuation of humanity in the future.

Goodfellas (1990)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Run Time: 2h 25m

Henry Hill is a young man who joins the mafia in Brooklyn. He starts working closely with two other gangsters- Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito and helps them with a few crimes.

Slowly he finds himself being sucked in deeper. He also assists in smuggling drugs and later develops a drug habit too. The movie is based on a true story.

Blade Runner (1982)


Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, Philip K. Dick, David Webb Peoples
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
Genre: Action, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 1h 57m

While this film severely underperformed upon its release, critics have acclaimed it to be one of the all-time best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand. This sci-fi film is set in 2019 and follows Rick Deckard, whose job as a “Blade Runner” is centered around tracking bioengineered humanoids.

He had essentially retired but was brought back on duty when the police discovered four illegal replicants. The company’s CEO, who makes the humanoids, is not very helpful with the investigation.

He is also boastful of the replicants, and Deckard realizes he is hiding far more than they knew about.

Wait Until Dark (1967)


Director: Terence Young
Writer: Frederick Knott, Robert Carrington, Jane-Howard Hammerstein
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Jack Weston
Genre: Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 48m

Lisa Jones was smuggling heroin inside a doll, but she suspected she was about to be found at the airport.

Hence, she handed the doll to a stranger. A few con-men get to know about the toy and reach the apartment of Sam and his wife Susy, who has been recently blinded, believing that it was Lisa’s residence. The thugs start terrorizing Susy to obtain the doll.

Deep Red (1975)


Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento, Bernandino Zapponi
Cast: David Hemmings, Daria Nicoldi, Gabriele Lavi
Genre: Horror, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 2h 7m

This movie opens with a silhouette against a wall wherein one figure stabs another to death.

Twenty years later, a psychic- Helga, claims that she sensed someone with murderous intentions in a seminar.

Later that day, Helga is murdered, and a jazz pianist witnesses the scene. The rest of the plot follows the jazz pianist and another reporter as they become involved with the mystery of the brutal murder.

Point Blank (1967)


Director: John Boorman
Writer: Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, Rafe Newhouse
Cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 32m

Another film-noir is an example of one of the best suspense movies ever made. Walker undertakes a significant crime operation but is double-crossed by his partner Mal Reese.

Reese then takes all the money, from Walker’s wife and leaves him for dead. However, miraculously Walker survives his wounds and recovers from his near-death experience.

With the help of the mysterious Yost, he sets out to seek the traitor. The movie follows Walker as he aims to take back the money stolen from him and get his revenge on Reese.

One False Move (1992)


Director: Carl Franklin
Writer: Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson
Cast: Cynda Williams, Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton, Una Merkel
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Run Time: 1h 45m

LAPD detectives Cole and McFeely are assigned to investigate a series of six bizarre murders in Los Angeles.

All six murders took place over a period of one night. However, the three main leads are found to have left Los Angeles for Star City, Arkansas. They acquire the aid of the Star City Police Chief, Dixon, who reveres them.

The four of them had managed to corner the three main suspects. However, they become apprehensive of Dixon when all three suspects manage to escape.

Mother (2009)


Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Eun-kyo Park
Cast: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Jin Goo
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

Do-Joon a young boy living with his widowed mother is framed and convicted for the murder of a young girl.

His mother had always been critical of him hanging out with Jin-Tae, a local thug. Convinced of his innocence, his mother sets out to free her son. Suspecting Jin-Tae to be the actual murderer, she attempts to solve the mystery of the girl’s death.

She hopes to catch the actual killer so she can get her son pardoned. When her accusation of Jin-Tae is proven wrong by the police, she is distraught and asks for their help to catch the actual killer. Jin-Tae agrees to work with her.

Red Dragon (2002)


Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 2h 4m

This is one of the best crime movies on Netflix. FBI agent Will Graham has been investigating the case of a serial killer who goes by the name of “The Tooth Fairy”.

Having killed two people already, Will must catch the killer before he finds his next victim. He asks for the help of the imprisoned psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who was incarcerated for multiple instances of cannibalism, believing that the doctor could be of vital assistance.

Argo (2012)


Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Chris Terrio, Tony Mendez, Joshua Bearman
Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Genre: Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h

The story follows Iranian Islamists storming the US embassy in Tehran, retaliating against President Jimmy Carter’s decision to provide asylum to the Shah.

Only six of the embassy workers were able to escape, and they were granted asylum in the home of the Canadian Ambassador.

A CIA agent, acting under the ruse of being a Hollywood producer, is sent to free the Americans being held hostage in Tehran.

Deep Water (2022)


Director: Adrian Lyne
Writer: Zach Helm, Sam Levinson, Patricia Highsmith
Cast: Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Ben Affleck
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 5.4/10
Run Time: 1h 55m

Melinda and Vic Van Allen have a complicated and rocky marriage. They sleep separately and have different lives to the point where emotionally, their marriage might as well be void.

For the sake of their six-year-old daughter, they have come to a precarious arrangement. Vic allows Melinda to have affairs and take on lovers to avoid a divorce, rendering it an open marriage.

However, when Melinda’s lovers start turning up dead, Vic finds himself to be one of the prime suspects. The police try to solve the mystery of the murders and disappearances. It has all the makings of one of the best suspense movies and has been acclaimed by quite a few critics.

The Night House (2021)


Director: David Bruckner
Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall
Genre: Horror, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

After her husband commits suicide, Beth becomes devastated and finds it challenging to move past his death. She is confused by his suicide note.

To a friend, she reveals their disagreement regarding what is there after death.

While going through his things, she also found evidence that led her to believe that he had been having an affair and more disturbing secrets about his life.

Spiral (2021)


Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger
Cast: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella
Genre: Action, Adventure
IMDb Rating: 5.2/10
Run Time: 1h 33m

The movie is the new chapter in the “Book of Saw” and is a spinoff of the Saw film series. It follows the story of a criminal mastermind as gruesome murders occur all over the town.

Detective Bozwick takes it upon himself to catch the criminal and stop the murders. However, he finds himself in a precarious situation and falls victim to the killer too.

Detectives Banks and Schenk are then assigned the investigation of all these murders, specifically the murder of Bozwick. The killer continues the heinous murders around the town, leaving the police racing against time to save the citizens.

What Lies Beneath (2000)


Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Clark Gregg, Sarah Kernochan
Cast: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katharine Towne, Miranda Otto
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 2h 10m

Claire Spencer lives with her husband- Norman, in a quiet little house in Vermont. Claire starts experiencing unusual occurrences and believing a ghost is haunting them.

At one point, she also thinks she might be losing her mind. She keeps having visions of the same woman and is convinced that the woman is hoping to convey something to her.

As she attempts to uncover the mystery of her haunted house, she starts finding evidence that causes irreparable damage to her marriage.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 37m

The movie follows the US special forces hunting for the al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden.

After he orchestrated the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and publicly accepted that he was the miscreant behind the heinous act, the US started searching for Laden.

The film follows the decade-long search that culminated with his capture and death at the hands of the Navy SEALS after they infiltrated his residence in May 2011. Despite being based on real-life events, the movie does a good job of inducing apprehension in the audience and is one of the best suspense movies.

Knife in the Water (1962)


Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Jakub Goldberg, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski
Cast: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
Genre: Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 34m

Couple Andrzej and Krystyna embark on an exciting sailing trip when they encounter a hitchhiker.

Andrzej is not keen on it, but the couple offers the man a ride to the marina, which turns into an offer to join them on the trip by the end of the drive.

However, the man spurs multiple arguments between the couple and goes missing by the end.

Taxi Driver (1976)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Paul Schrader
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 1h 54m

26-year-old Travis Bickle is a veteran of the Vietnam War. to battle extreme loneliness and insomnia, he started working night shifts as a taxi driver in New York City.

It is established that Bickle has post-traumatic stress disorder because of his days as a US Marine in Vietnam.

Because of it, he experiences an immense predisposition to violent tendencies and frequents the porn theaters around New York City. Troubled by his existential crises and frequent violent thoughts, Travis hopes to be a savior again. He comes up with a plan to satiate his need and hopes it does not backfire.

Blood Simple (1984)


Director: Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: John Getz, Dan Hedaya, Frances McDormand
Genre: Crime, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 39m

Julian Marty owns a bar in a small town in Texas and does not enjoy an amicable reputation amongst the community.

He discovers that his wife has been having an affair with his bartender Ray. Marty hires a private investigator to collect evidence against the two, later instructing the PI to murder them both.

However, this massively backfires in a sudden turn of events. Go through Amazon Prime’s costs and plans or HBO Max’s costs to watch this movie.

In a Lonely Place (1950)


Director: Nicholas Ray
Writer: Andrew Solt, Edmund H. North, Dorothy B. Hughes
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 34m

This film-noir is one of the best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand. Dixon Steele is a screenwriter who has not been doing well professionally and is still waiting for a burst of creative genius.

He is also prone to violent outbursts and has an explosive temper. Suddenly, he finds himself the prime suspect in the murder of a young woman.

His neighbor helps him clear his name, but his violent ways make her think that he is certainly capable of committing such a crime. Things again go south for Dixon when she starts doubting her decision to trust his innocence.

Blood Feud (1978)


Director: Lina Wertmüller
Writer: Lina Wertmüller
Cast: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Giancarlo Giannini
Genre: Thriller
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Run Time: 1h 52m

Titina Paterno is a recently widowed woman, and two men simultaneously fall in love with her.

In the aftermath of the tragedy of her husband’s death, Titina finds herself torn between the love of two men, but the story does not end up being one about love.

Based in pre-World War II Sicily, the changing political landscape forces the three to make some hard decisions, and they plan to move to New York City.

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)


Director: Shane Meadows
Writer: Paddy Considine, Shane Meadows, Paul Fraser
Cast: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 30m

Richard returns to his hometown in England after serving in the British Army. However, his days of action are not yet over, and after being reconciled with his younger brother, he vows to take revenge on the people who brutally bullied his mentally challenged brother.

The rest of the story follows Richard toying with the men and brutally murdering them.

Atlantics (2019)


Director: Mati Diop
Writer: Mati Diop
Cast: Mame Bineta Sane, Amadou Mbow, Traore
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

Along the coast of the Atlantic, a grande tower is about to be inaugurated. However, the construction workers have not been paid in months.

The men decide to leave the country by sea and travel to a place with better opportunities.

Amongst the men was Souleiman the lover of Ada. The men are lost at sea and return to haunt the tycoon who withheld their pay and forced them to the sea.

Zodiac (2007)


Director: David Fincher
Writer: James Vanderbilt, Robert Graysmith
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h 37m

The plot of this best movie on Netflix follows the story of the “Zodiac Killer” and a cartoonist who becomes obsessed with solving the case.

The cartoonist Robert Graysmith turns into an amateur detective, but all his suggestions are initially dismissed without consideration.

The Zodiac Killer has promised to kill 12 victims unless the firm can decode his letters. Graysmith continues to try and solve the mystery of the Zodiac Killer as he continues to terrorize the Bay Area.

Inside Man (2006)


Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Russell Gewirtz
Cast: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

Dalton Russell claims he can commit the perfect bank robbery of all time. He gets together a group of people for the job and seizes control of a bank in Manhattan along with his band of robbers.

However, the intended money heist does not turn out to just be a heist. As the police surround the bank, the robbery turns into a hostage situation.

Thus starts a high-stakes negotiation between Russell, one of the police detectives, and an accomplished bank broker. As the stakes get higher, the police realize that Russell would be hard to subdue.

Searching (2018)

Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writer: Aneesh Changaty, Sev Ohanian
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 42m

David Kim is a single father to his daughter Margot. One morning, his daughter goes missing, and he realizes she had been lying to him about her life for the past six months.

He grows extremely concerned for his daughter, not believing that she could have run away. He registers a missing person case with the police department in the city.

As the case is assigned to Rosemary Vick, a detective inspector, David undertakes his investigations to find clues about Margot’s disappearance. This recent release has the potential to be one of the best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand.

Flightplan (2005)


Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Peter A. Dowling, Billy Ray
Cast: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Run Time: 1h 38m

Kyle Pratt has been recently widowed, and the troubled woman is seen flying from Berlin to America with her 6-year-old daughter Julia. However, mid-flight, Julia goes missing, and nobody in the aircraft can recall Kyle boarding with a kid.

Believing she is losing her mind due to her loss, Kyle is put under the watch of sky marshal Gene Carson as the flight prepares to make an emergency stopover.

Arrival (2016)


Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 56m

Twelve mystery spacecraft suddenly appear over various locations around the globe. Linguist Louise Banks is roped in to help them communicate with the extraterrestrial life forms that have brought their aircraft to Earth.

Between trying to communicate with the aliens and trying to prevent a military response from various countries, Banks must navigate her role in this situation along with physicist Ian Donnelly. This is one of the best drama movies on Netflix.

The Invitation (2015)


Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corineadi, Michiel Huisman
Genre: Drama, Horror
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 1h 40m

Will and Eden were once married but divorced after the accidental death of their young son.

After years of separation, his wife Eden has invited him and his current girlfriend for dinner, along with their mutual friends.

However, the feast turns unexpectedly when Eden and her new husband start talking about the cult-like group they’ve joined.

Annihilation (2018)


Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland, Jeff VanderMeer
Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson
Genre: Adventure, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 55m

Lena is a biology professor who joins a new expedition to go on an exploration of a mysterious zone called the “Shimmer”.

Having lost her husband to a coma induced by his journey to the Shimmer, Lena is determined to solve the mystery of the strange place.

Mutating living organisms as they grow in size, it falls on Lena’s group to try and stop it from consuming everything in its path.

Chinatown (1974)


Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Robert Towne, Roman Polanski
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 10m

Set in 1937, a woman named Evelyn Mulwray hires a private investigator J.J. Gittes, wanting him to trail her husband. She suspected that her husband was having an affair.

Gittes overhears the husband saying some things that he initially disregarded, only focussing on his adulterous activities. However, soon after Gittes does collect the evidence against the husband, the husband is found dead.

Now Gittes finds himself investigating the case as a homicide. He starts uncovering critical state and corporate secrets that somebody is trying hard to suppress.

No Country for Old Men (2007)


Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Cormac McCarthy
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 2m

Hunter Llewelyn Moss had been hoping to find some prey in the desert.

However, he comes across carnage and destruction that included a few dead men and dogs along with a wounded Mexican man in the desert, a stash of drugs in a vehicle, and $2 million in a suitcase. He concluded that it was a drug deal gone wrong and took the bag of money.

However, stealing the money put a lot of dangerous men on his trail, and now he must navigate through this web of crime that threatens to swallow him in.

Dial M For Murder (1954)


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Frederick Knott
Cast: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings
Genre: Crime, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 1h 45m

Tony Wendice is a retired English tennis player who has recently discovered the affair of his unfaithful wife. He starts to anonymously blackmail her before deciding to hire a criminal- Swann, to murder her.

However, before Swann can take her life, Margot kills him in self-defense. The plot further follows Tony trying to frame Margot for the murder of Swann and getting rid of her.

Deliverance (1972)


Director: John Boorman
Writer: James Dickey, John Boorman
Cast: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty
Genre: Action, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

Four friends decide to go for a canoeing trip in remote Georgia. The river was about to be dammed and they wished to bask in its sheer nature before that happened.

They happened to take two canoes and were rowing in groups of two when the two canoes were separated. Unknown to them, bizarre occurrences awaited them in the river.

From dangerous mountain men to the accidental death of one of the four friends, they must navigate their way to safety before more fatalities can occur. The movie manages to maintain suspense throughout the plot, keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Sicario (2015)


Director: Denis Villeneu
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin
Genre: Action, Crime
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 1m

FBI Special Agent Kate Macer is enlisted to join a special task force. The particular task force was being put together for a secretive mission that involved taking out a drug lord operating from Mexico.

The team travels to the lawless land between USA and Mexico to apprehend Sonora Lieutenant Manuel Diaz. After that, Kate works with the special task force to dismantle not just Diaz’s estate but also reach his boss, the drug lord behind all of this.

You Were Never Really Here (2017)


Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writer: Lynne Ramsay
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John Doman
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 29m

Joe is a traumatized war veteran who now specializes in rescuing trafficked girls. He is not above using brutal methods against the captors, making him fearsome.

Due to his time in the Gulf Wars and watching his father abuse his mom as a kid, Joe is often troubled with suicidal thoughts and flashbacks.

One of the recent he takes up was for a New York Senator, whose daughter Nina had been abducted and was presently in a brothel. Joe’s job spirals out of control when he uncovers a major government conspiracy and is filled with dread.

Nightcrawler (2014)


Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 57m

Louis Bloom is a con man but has made his way up the crime journalism world in Los Angeles. Slowly, however, he starts tampering with the scenes, going as far as even indirectly being the cause of some of the accidents and crimes.

Lou blurs the line between observer and perpetrator to stay relevant in his field of work.

Shutter Island (2010)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Dennis Lehane
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 18m

The movie is based in 1954, and the plot follows US Marshal Edward Daniels as he investigates the disappearance of Rachel Solando from the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane.

He is aided by his new partner, Chuck Aule, and starts his investigation. However, he finds the staff uncooperative with the assignment he was undertaking, and the story turns sinister.

The Handmaiden (2016)


Director: Park Chan-wook
Writer: Sarah Waters, Seo-Kyong Jeong, Park Chan-wook
Cast: Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong
Genre: Romance, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 25m

“Count Fujiwara” is a con-man operating in Japanese-occupied Korea. He plans to seduce Lady Hideko, a Japanese heiress and hires Sook-hee to help him with his plan.

Sook-hee acts as Lady Hideko’s handmaiden and is supposed to convince her to marry Fujiwara so that he can obtain her inheritance.

However, as the plan progresses, Sook-hee finds herself to be in situations she would’ve never predicted.

Drive (2011)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Hossein Amini, James Sallis
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Genre: Action, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 40m
A mysterious, anonymous driver works as a mechanic, stunt double, stunt driver, and getaway car driver in Los Angeles. All of his assignments are handled by Shannon, an auto shop owner, allowing him to stay completely anonymous for all his assignments.

This one time, Driver finds himself entangled in a complex web of crime and lies when a getaway assignment goes wrong. He is unable to twist free of the crimes he has unintentionally become a part of. As the plot progresses, he gets increasingly immersed in the murky world of murders and robberies.

Kill List (2011)


Director: Ben Wheatly
Writer: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson
Genre: Action, Crime
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Run Time: 1h 35m

Jay, a professional hitman, was recovering from a botched assignment in Kyiv nearly a year ago. Unable to get full employment, Jay and his wife are financially unstable.

When he next receives a new job offer that promises a considerable payment, Jay ends up accepting it.

However, the hit list that Jay receives is rather bizarre, and all his victims concern him with their last words or actions, right as they die. He begins questioning the assignment and gets into fatal situations because of it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)


Director: David Fincher
Writer: Steven Zaillian, Staieg Larsson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h 38m

A disgraced journalist, Blomkvist, is approached by a wealthy man, Vagner. Vagner claimed that he could provide Blomkvist with damning evidence against Wennerstrom, who was the reason for Blomkvist’s downfall.

In return, Vagner wanted Blomkvist to solve the mystery of the presumed murder of his 16-year-old niece forty years ago. Simultaneously running subplots tie into the movie to form a suspenseful thriller that keeps one hooked.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)


Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Run Time: 1h 39m

Six gangsters, all using aliases, work for the mob boss- Joe Cabot, and his son- Eddie Cabot, the underboss.

They were employed to carry out a simple jewel heist, which inexplicably goes wrong. The six have to split up, and one of them dies.

The remaining gangsters begin suspecting that one of them is a police informant and turn on each other. They start turning on each other, and the crime web tightens around them.

The Girl on the Train (2016)


Director: Tate Taylor
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson, Paula Hawkins
Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Run Time: 1h 52m

Rachel Watson has been recently divorced, and she spends her days riding the train aimlessly.

She made a point of observing her ex-husband with his new wife and their two neighbors. One day, she confronts the neighbor, Megan, upon finding her in a compromising situation.

Soon after, Megan goes missing, and Rachel finds herself inevitably tied to the case, revealing secrets about her past.

Identity (2003)


Director: James Mangold
Writer: Michael Cooney
Cast: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Pee
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 30m

Set in Nevada, the plot follows the story of ten strangers stuck in a motel during a thunderstorm.

Simultaneously, the movie shows Malcolm Rivers’s trial, awaiting execution for mass murders and vicious crimes.

However, Malcolm’s psychiatrist believes that Malcolm has extreme dissociative identity disorder and is thus unaware of his crimes. Meanwhile, the guests at the hotel keep dying off one after the other.

Pulp Fiction (1994)


Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.9/10
Run Time: 2h 34m

Four tales of violence and redemption intertwine in this thriller, including two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of bandits.

Not running chronologically, the film demands immense attention from its audience, captivating them into following the story closely. The movie is also said to follow a circular narrative.

It starts at a diner and proceeds to alternate between storylines. Finally, the plot moves to the diner again for the conclusion.

Mulholland Drive (2001)


Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 2h 27m

Also called Mulholland Dr, the movie follows Betty, an aspiring Hollywood actress. One day, while living in her aunt’s expensive apartment, Betty finds an amnesic woman who calls herself Rita.

Amid half-truths and faded memories, Betty attempts to help Rita unravel the mysteries of her past before she got into the accident on the winding Mulholland Drive.

Unbreakable (2000)


Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

After surviving an accident that should have been positively fatal, David Dunn meets Elijah Price.

Price is convinced that his chronic illness must be matched by someone who is the opposite and cannot fall ill, and he believes that David is that person.

A very ordinary man before this, David realizes his power in hindsight and learns to navigate it better.

The Prestige (2006)


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Priest, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
Genre: Drama, Mystery
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 2h 10m

Set in London in the 1890s, this psychological thriller follows the feud between two stage magicians- Robert Angier and Alfred Borden.

As they launch their respective magic careers, both attempt to sabotage the other’s performances multiple times, often to the point of grievous injury.

They seem to sacrifice everything they had in the ploy to outwit the other, spiraling into a maddening obsession.

Cape Fear (1991)


Director: Martin Scorses
Writer: John D. MacDonald, James R. Webb, Wesley Strick
Cast: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessicca Lange
Genre: Crime, Thriller
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 8m

This psychological thriller follows the story of Max Cady, a convicted rapist who has just been released after serving his sentence. Cady starts stalking the family of Sam Bowden.

He was the lawyer who officially defended Cady in court and ruined his trial by hiding specific evidence causing Cady to lose the case. Cady seeks revenge against Bowden for being the cause of his extensive sentence.


Suspense movies are best for people who like complicated plots that keep them guessing till the end. Bonus points if the film is a thriller, fills the audience with anxiety, and keeps them on edge.

This article is a curated list of the 100 best suspense movies of all time in New Zealand, filled with the right amount of apprehension, drama, and hard-to-guess plots.

From Alfred Hitchcock classics and noir films to recent releases with compelling stories and cinematography, this article lists all the great suspense movies that will boggle your minds.

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Jane Davies

Jane Davies

Meet Jane Davies, your friendly guide to all the cool stuff on Paramount Plus. She's got the inside scoop on the best shows, movies, and sports. Watching with Jane means getting the best picks, like having a friend who knows all about what to watch next. She loves hiking, snapping beautiful photos, and trying out new foods. Her adventures off-screen are just as fun as the ones on it. So, if you're looking for what to watch or just want to hear about cool experiences, Jane's got you covered. Let's dive into the fun world of streaming together!

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